Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cabbage Rolls (Golumpki)

A large cabbage yields about 2 dozen golumpki
Recorded October 15, 2008. A Family Favorite.

1-1/4 lb lean ground beef
2-1/2 c cooked rice
1 egg, beaten
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 T minced garlic
2 T vegetable oil
salt and pepper

1 large head of green cabbage
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
3 T brown sugar
1-1/2 T lemon juice
1 medium onion chopped
1/2 c green pepper chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Saute the onion and garlic in oil until soft and clear. In a large bowl combine with the other filling ingredients and set aside. Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl, mix thoroughly and set aside Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut deeply through the leaves at the base of the cabbage and place the head in boiling water. Cover and cook until a few outer leaves can be peeled back. Use a large fork in the base to steady the cabbage and tongs to peel back the leaves. As the leaves become softened, remove them to cool and drain and then peel away another group of outer leaves, continuing until all the usable leaves are softened and cooled. Chop the interior leaves and add to the sauce. Trim away the tough bottom of a leaf and place about 3 tablespoons of filling and roll and fold the cabbage leaf to form a tight package. Place in a baking pan, seam side down. Continue until all the filling has been used. Any spare leaves can be rolled and included in the pan. Pour sauce over rolls and cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Bake 60 min at 350 degrees F (177 C). Serve with steamed rice.  Hint: A second batch of sauce can be prepared in a saucepan by combining the ingredients and simmering for 30 minutes while the rolls bake.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Clam Chowder Too

Developed February 15, 2006 from Internet recipes.
2 or 3 thick slices bacon, diced
1 c chopped onion
2 ribs celery, diced
3 to 4 c diced potatoes
1 c (1 bottle) clam juice, or seafood or chicken stock
1 t sea salt
1/4 t ground black pepper
2 6-1/2 oz cans minced or chopped clams
3 T all-purpose flour
3 c half-and-half + milk
2 T chopped parsley
2 T lemon juice
Cook bacon until crisp in a Dutch oven or large, heavy saucepan. Remove bacon to paper towels. Discard all but 1 T bacon fat and add the onions.  Fry slowly until softened (about 10 minutes). Add potatoes, clam juice or stock, bacon, salt, and pepper.  Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat. Add minced clams with their liquid. Whisk flour into milk; add to chowder with half-and-half. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until clam chowder thickens and bubbles (about 3 minutes). Stir in parsley and lemon juice. Adjust seasoning. Serves 4.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Roast Pork Sirloin

Roast Pork Sirloin
Prepared February 22, 2012. A local market offered this cut at a very good price, and so Laura and DrDaddy developed this cooking method.
1 2-1/2 to 3 lb boneless pork sirloin roast (in a net bag)

1 qt cold water
1/4 c kosher salt
1/4 c brown sugar
10 peppercorns
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, crushed
2 bay leaves
3/4 t granulated garlic, divided
3 t fresh or dry thyme, divided

2 t chili powder
vegetable oil
In a large bowl dissolve the sugar and salt in the water. Stir in the seasonings, using 2 t of thyme and 1/2 t garlic. Rinse the roast, and place it in the brine. Refrigerate 3 hours, turning occasionally. Remove, discard marinade, drain roast, and dry it well with paper towels. Coat all sides with oil, and sprinkle on 1 t of thyme, 1/4 t of garlic, and the chili powder. Rub it all over the roast. Place in a V-rack in a shallow, dark roasting pan. Roast at 325 degrees F (163 C) uncovered for about 80 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F. Remove from oven, tent with aluminum foil, let it rest 15 minutes. Cut away the net bag, and slice thinly across the grain. Leftovers make excellent sandwiches.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Chocolate Pudding

Assembled July 31, 2011 from multiple Internet sources.
3 oz (3 squares) unsweetened chocolate
3 c milk + half-and-half (mixed)
1/4 c corn starch
1/2 c sugar
1/4 t salt
1 t vanilla extract
In a 2-quart saucepan, heat 2-1/2 c of the milk/cream mixture with the chocolate, stirring until chocolate is melted completely and milk is scalded. Mix cornstarch, sugar and salt in a medium bowl, and stir in remaining 1/2 c milk. Add to scalded dairy-chocolate mixture and cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and smooth. Continue cooking, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cool slightly, stir in vanilla and pour into serving dishes.  Cover with plastic film and chill. Serves 6.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mediterranean Bread Salad

Prepared February 11, 2012. This recipe is the 200th contribution to DrDaddyCooks.
2 c seasoned flat bread, or leftover veggie pizza, cubed
1/4 c feta, crumbled
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c ripe Greek olives, sliced
1 T capers, chopped
pinch of crushed red pepper
1 T lemon juice
1/2 t anchovy paste
Mix the oil, capers, lemon juice, and anchovy paste in a bowl. Toss the bread cubes in the dressing. Gently mix in the feta cheese and olives. Serve as part of a mezze platter, or as a topping on bean or lentil soup. Store cold.

Pears Poached in Wine Syrup

Poached Pears in Wine Syrup
Developed and recorded February 15, 2012.
1 firm red pear, cored, peeled, cut into 12 wedges
2 T sugar
1/4 c water
2 T dry sherry
1/4 c red table wine
1/4 t ground cinnamon
a few grinds of black pepper and a pinch of salt
Bring the syrup ingredients in a small skillet to a slow boil, and add the pears. Simmer the pears for 15 minutes, turning occasionally. Let cool on stove top 10 minutes to let the syrup thicken. Serves two.

A Sound Knife Set for a Serious Cook

Which knives and cutlery accessories should a good cook of Western foods have at hand? 
• First, the material. Stainless steel. Not ceramic or high carbon steel. Those have their value, but this is the basics.
• Second, how many? If only one knife, an 8-inch chef's knife. Next, a paring knife. Third, a bread knife. Fourth, a boning knife, and finally a carving knife for roasts and other large objects. Other favorites: grapefruit knife, Japanese sushi knife (special gift to DrDaddy from his sons), hefty cleaver, microplane, serrated peeler.
• Third, what else? A good knife sharpener is essential. Preferred is the PriorityChef Knife Sharpener, about $15. An alternative is the excellent hand-held Accusharp 001, about $10. Cutting boards (maple or teak, and a polyethylene board for dishwasher cleanup, and a steel or ceramic hone round out the system. To prevent injuries, store knifes  on a wall-mounted magnetic carrier for ready access and edge protection.
• Which knives? Victorinox (the Swiss Army knife people) offer great quality at a modest price. Buy from Amazon or other value-oriented, reputable, online vendor. Here's what to get:

  • Victorinox 40520 8-Inch Chef's Knife
  • Victorinox 47508 3-1/4-Inch Paring Knife
  • Victorinox 47547 10-1/4-Inch Wavy Bread Knife
  • Victorinox 47513 6-inch Flex Boning Knife
  • PriorityChef or AccuSharp 001 Knife Sharpener
  • Victorinox 12-Inch Granton Edge Slicing Knife

Monday, February 13, 2012

Meatballs, Peppers, Mushrooms, and Onions in Marinara Sauce (for Pasta)

Recorded May 1, 2011. Prepared and modified more than a hundred times over the decades. A Family Favorite. The recipe is versatile. Instead of meatballs, the meat might be roast or pan-fried chicken, or Italian sweet sausage, in or out of the skin, or left-over spare ribs. Pasta can be spaghetti, fettuccini, rotini, rigatoni, or what you prefer, but larger forms work better with this robust, flavor-packed sauce.
about 2 oz olive oil
24 to 28 oz package frozen meatballs
2 c sweet red pepper, coarsely chopped
6 oz white mushrooms, wiped clean, and quartered
1 c yellow onion, coarsely chopped
2 T minced garlic
1-1/2 T tomato paste
2 t Italian dry herb mixture
1 t fennel seed
1/4 t crushed red pepper
3/4 c dry red wine
1 28-oz can whole Italian tomatoes, crushed by hand
1 28-oz can prepared marinara sauce
1/2 c water
salt, pepper, and sugar
In a 6-quart heavy saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat the oil until almost smoking. Saute the peppers until they begin to char on the edges. Stir in the mushrooms. When they have darkened, add the onions and garlic, saute for a minute more. Add the meatballs, and saute until colored, adding oil as needed.  Push back to clear a space, add a tablespoon of oil and the tomato paste and seasonings. Heat until fragrant and mix with the vegetables. Add the wine, scrape the bottom of the pan, and reduce by half. Stir in the tomato products, and rinse the cans with the water, and add. Bring the mixture to a fast simmer, cover, and cook for an hour or more, stirring occasionally. Add salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. Dresses two pounds (900 g) of dry pasta, cooked al dente.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Roasted Red-Pepper Coulis

Modified from a recipe on the internet. Recorded February 8, 2012.
2 large red bell peppers
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
1 T red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Broil the red peppers in a dark metal pan in a toaster oven, turning occasionally, until the peppers are blackened all over. Wrap in paper to trap steam and let cool completely. Peel the peppers and discard the skins, seeds and membranes. Coarsely chop the peppers. Transfer all ingredients to a small bowl, and puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate covered with plastic wrap. Let come to room temperature before serving. Use as a spread on bruscetta, as a sauce with fish or light meats, as an ingredient in finger foods.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Clam Chowder

Clam Chowder with French bread and Chardonay
Recorded February 5, 2012. Created and prepared by Laura.
4 slices lean bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small leek - use white and light green parts – quartered lengthwise and sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
2 ribs celery, diced
4 medium or 3 large potatoes, quartered and sliced in 1/2 inch pieces
1 51 oz can chopped clams with broth
1 c heavy cream
2 c milk
2 T chopped fresh oregano
1 T chopped fresh thyme
2 T chopped fresh dill
chili powder to taste (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
chives for garnish
Separate clam meat and clam broth using a strainer and hold. In a 6-quart cook pot over medium heat, slowly render bacon. Add garlic, onions, and celery and sauté lightly until soft.  Add leeks and sauté for about 1 minute. Add clam broth and potatoes; simmer until potatoes are tender. Turn down heat; add milk, heavy cream and clams.  When soup is warmed through (do not boil), stir in the herbs. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve in soup bowls garnished with chives. Pair with crusty bread and a light fruity wine.